Document drop: Al Gore still pestering filmmaker for firestorm footage

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ManBearPig just won’t quit. According to new e-mail documents I’ve obtained, global warming cultist Al Gore continues to pressure an independent videographer for his stunning footage of a fire tornado in the Australian outback.

You may recall that in September, Chris Tangey of Alice Springs Film and Television had rejected Gore’s request to use the firestorm film in his alarmist climate change presentations. (You can watch a snippet of the footage Gore wants to get his green, grubby paws on here.) As The Australian newspaper reported at the time, truth-teller Tangey told Gore’s office that it would be “deliberately deceptive” to license the footage for Gore propaganda. He added in his exchange with Gore’s office: “I am aware that you may have missed the reporting on the very localised nature of this firestorm,” Tangey wrote. “However, in any case, I am confused as to why you would offer to buy a licence to use it at all unless you had conducted even elementary research which might indicate that this Mt Conner event had direct linkage to global warming/climate change.”

Two months later, Gore’s reps are still after Tangey. The battle comes as Gore prepares for his “Dirty Weather Report” two-day online broadcast scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

Tangey received his first correspondence from Gore’s Carthage Group in September. Here’s a recap of that first correspondence:

On 25/09/2012, at 2:52 AM, Jill Martin wrote:

Hi Chris,

I work for former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Mr. Gore recently saw the amazing footage of the fire tornado taken on September 11th, and is interested in showing it during some of the presentations he gives on environmental topics.

Could you give me an idea of what you might charge to license that footage to us? Here are some details about how it would be used:

Usage: in live, PowerPoint-type presentations to live audiences
Where: worldwide
Term: for up to five years
Context: Mr. Gore often shows photos and video of wildfires in his presentations. This video would augment that section.

Thank you very much,


Jill Martin | Office of the Honorable Al Gore | +1 408.348.7269

Tangey replied:

From: chris tangey
Date: 30 September 2012 5:29:32 PM ACST
To: Jill Martin
Subject: Re: Licensing the “fire tornado” film clilp


Sorry for the late reply but I have been in Melbourne on a shoot down there.

I’ve now had time to look at your offer to license my footage, no doubt for a substantial amount of money, and have carefully considered it.
Having now had time in the last couple of days to research Mr. Gore and his usage of third party material previously I have to say I am a little concerned about the context in which my footage might be used.

To be honest, in terms of a global warming/climate change presentation it is difficult for me to imagine a fire event less relevant. This was, by all accounts and as reported, a highly localized event. The fire occurred in a patch of highly flammable spinifex grass, renowned for its intense heat, which had remained unburnt for a period of over 50 years, possibly causing an unprecedented build up of oils and resins in that small area. The local cattle ranchers had been protecting the habitat of the nearby mesa, Mt.Conner right up until this month’s fire.

On top of that it has been reported that the 10 day-old fire it emerged from was deliberately lit, not a natural event. In fact with not a cloud in the sky that day or even the slightest breeze, the only “weather” around had to come from the very-much contained area of the fire itself.

I am aware that you may have missed the reporting on the very localized nature of this firestorm. However, in any case, I am confused as to why you would offer to buy a license to use it at all unless you had conducted even elementary research which might indicate that this Mt. Conner event had direct linkage to global warming/climate change. I am happy to hear your response, but I can’t personally imagine one that I would find convincing.

Having taken all of the above into account I have had to make a decision not based on monetary reward but on what is the right thing to do.
Hopefully I have demonstrated that I have not dismissed this offer lightly. For me, if I were to allow this footage to be used in an out of context scenario, even by insinuation, I just wouldn’t feel right.

In fact if I were to use it myself in any climate change framework I would feel like I were being deliberately deceptive, so please thank the Vice President for your offer, but I must respectfully decline.

Kind regards
Chris Tangey

Despite widespread publicity and mockery of Gore’s failed attempt to turn Tangey’s work into junk science, Gore’s office persists.

On November 7, Gore’s Climate Reality Project contacted Tangey – again waving money around and ignoring Tangey’s previous, science-based objections:

Hi Chris!

Wasn’t sure if this is the same Chris who shot the fire tornado? But I was curious if Alice Springs Television still controlled the rights to the footage?
I’m a producer working on some documentary pieces for a nonprofit organization doing an internet broadcast, and was wondering how much it would
be to license some of the footage?

Thank you so much for your help and time!

Best wishes,

Andrea L. Smith
Producer/The Climate Reality Project
[phone numbers redacted]

Tangey again rejected Gore:

On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 4:28 AM, chris tangey wrote:


I mean no disrespect, but I have to say that at best your organisation has some serious internal communication problems.

At worst, Mr. Gore is now requesting these images “through the back door”, and I note in your email that you completely omit mentioning Mr. Gore or the specific intentions you have for its usage.

As I’m sure you are aware I have previously refused a request for this footage from your Founder and Chairman on the grounds that there is no evidence to support your proposed usage.

That is, that this intense, but incredibly localised, event has any relationship whatsoever to climate change/global warming. In fact from the expert advice I have received, I believe the evidence is to the contrary.

I am happy to be proved wrong, but that appears highly unlikely.

In any case, even if “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” in Mr. Gore’s organisation, I again have to ask the question; Why would you request this footage if you do not have firm evidence to prove that this particular event was caused by, or was in any way attributable to, global or even regional climate change?

If a project is bold enough to call itself “Climate Reality, ” then I would reasonably expect a great deal of fact and reality attached to it.
I believe viewers all over the world would expect the same. If I tune into your special event “24 hours of reality” on November 14 and 15, how will I know which event you present is really factual and directly attributable, and which is not?

Dare I say, what will be truth and what won’t be? How will anyone watching know? Especially, how will the 4,000 activists around the world your project has trained to “educate and inspire others” know?

Are all your requests for visual material to support climate change presentations made without any prior requirement for supporting evidence?

I must say that this continuing episode has adversely affected my view of those promoting anthropological climate change , and I now view any programs about it with a more sceptical eye.

So, yet again, I cannot in all conscience accept your offer, for any amount.


Chris Tangey

The exchange continued. Smith wrote on November 8:


First of all, I in no way meant to disrespect or offend you. I am an independent, freelance producer, and I don’t think anyone is trying to acquire the footage through “the back door.” I can assure you that the Climate Reality people have been very very tough on us as far as what stories we are able to cover. For instance, I have produced a piece on climate change and coffee in Colombia with scientists from CIAT, so it is very grounded in science, and both fascinating and terrifying as to what is happening all over this planet.

The program this year is to discuss “Dirty Weather” and “Extremes” of weather. It’s an open point for discussion for the scientists and panelists that will be participating. It’s to invite conversation and discussion. As a freelance producer I had no idea when I started this project that the US is the only country in the world that has an active Climate Denier movement – every other country in the world has accepted this as a fact and is moving forward to do something about it. From what I understand, Australia has implemented a very innovative carbon tax and has a number of other programs in place in many of their cities. I’m somewhat embarrassed I live in a country where we so greedily use up so much of the earth’s resources and seem immune to it.

Anyway, it’s an incredible piece of footage and fantastic you captured it. I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit your country twice for extended periods of time, including Alice Springs. I can easily say Australia is one of my favorite places in the world. Again, no offense meant, and none taken. I hope you do have the opportunity to watch part of the programming and that you find merit in it.

Very best wishes,

Andrea L. Smith

Tangey spoke more reality-based truth to climate change brainwashing power:


Thanks for your response, I’m sure from your comments below that you are personally committed to the cause of anthropological climate change, but as copyright owner my primary concern is that any usage of this material should be scientifically valid and in context. I find that your response hasn’t addressed my specific questions on whether it would be scientifically appropriate to use it in an extreme weather context .

As has been widely reported, it was such a highly localised event it was most likely caused by the fire itself, let alone any external “weather” and certainly not anything on a climatic scale.

The cattle station owners (who have been on that property for 55 years) have indicated that is their firm belief, and that in fact its heat and severity was caused by the fact that they have deliberately protected that patch of resin-filled spinifex grass for over half a century, allowing that resin to build up over time. Spinifex (Triodia) is highly flammable and creates intense heat in any case.

Joel Lisonbee, Manager of the Northern Territory Climate Services Centre, was quoted as saying he also saw no connection between this event and climate change/global warming.

“This event was better described as a dust devil within a fire. Most of us have seen dust devils and know they are not uncommon,” Mr Lisonbee said

“You need hot, dry conditions but you get those in desert-like conditions everywhere, regardless of global warming.”

I know that we could just “agree to disagree” but I feel I must raise some real concerns to your response. Firstly your title indicates your are employed at the highest level of the Climate Reality Project, a Producer, freelancer or not, so I am confused as to why you refer to “the Climate Reality people” in the third person. Assuming for a moment that these people are separate to yourself you go on to say that they “have been very very tough on us as far as what stories we are able to cover”. So clearly this indicates they must have approved not just your enquiry about the footage, but the next stage of actually offering to buy it.

Since Mr. Gore’s office first contacted me to buy the rights, which indicated Mr. Gore himself had made the request to purchase, I have had cause to conduct considerable research on climate change.

In the course of this research I have discovered a lot of non-scientific, apparently agenda-driven name-calling going on, including your below “Climate Denier” tag.
Apparently “climate deniers” are people with a different viewpoint to yours, so are fair game to be labelled , put in a box and publicly pilloried. I would have though the correct scientific response would be to simply convince them of your argument. I think few people have doubt that the climate is changing, the questions are to what extent and whether it is human-induced. I am happy to be convinced, but by simply labelling questioners who need more information “climate deniers” might be colorful politics, but would seem a doomed approach to science education.

Now, the doubts that I mention don’t appear from thin air, but have actually been introduced by your own “team” so to speak , so it would appear a bit rich to be blaming others, let alone calling them childish names for them now having doubts:

Much more relevant to me is that my research has shown that your own Founder and Chairman has had his own share of controversy:

I have even found a quote from Mr. Gore saying that “the science is settled”. As far as I know true operational science is never settled, it is always open to additional data that may later arrive at a new conclusion.

You say the context of using my footage on this global media event would merely be as “an open point for discussion for the scientists and panelists that will be participating” and to “invite conversation and discussion.”

If there is going to be an “open discussion”, then I presume there will be Scientists with opposing opinions, if not, how will it be “open”?

I’m sorry, but this seems to me both disingenuous and illogical and echoes Mr. Gore’s original request to simply use it in “presentations” on “environmental topics”. In barely the space of a month 2 major Al Gore organisations, Climate Reality Project and Carthage Group have asked to buy this footage. Given the very reason for the existence of these organisations is to promote anthropological climate change, I am to believe that the purpose is actually NOT to sell viewers on climate change? Then sorry… why do you wish to buy it?

For your information I am no stranger to either science or extreme, wind-related weather events. For instance, I was Associate Producer, Head of Research and Co-Writer on the 1 hour long, 2001 National Geographic Channel (U.S.) documentary “Red Storm” which dealt with dust storms and the relevant science globally.

It seems to me I am the type of person you are making this program for, those of us yet to be convinced, but after the experience of the last month or so I’m afraid I am left less convinced than ever.



So far, Gore’s office has not responded.

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